Elkhart County to close 9-1-1 call center

Elkhart County -- Nappanee will no longer have a dispatch center to call its own. The Elkhart County Council and the Nappanee City government agreed to consolidate their 9-1-1 centers in an effort to comply with state law.  

Calls that went to Nappanee will be answered by Elkhart County dispatchers at the start of the new year.

In 2011, Elkhart County dispatchers answered more than 300 thousand calls, and sent first responders to just over half of those calls.

Emergency services for those in Nappanee are expected to stay the same, and may even improve. Currently, Nappanee dispatch goes through the county for all first responder services. The consolidation will simply eliminate Nappanee from the cycle.

"I think the service will remain the same. When calls now go to Nappanee, they dispatch their police, fire and EMS, with this the calls will now all go to the county. It shouldn't have a large impact, it shouldn't be less than 10% of what we take now" said Dijkstra.

At least ten full-time and part-timers will lose their jobs by the end of the year. Some of those will be able to interview in the county's 9-1-1 center. The director of Elkhart's County's 9-1-1 center says it will cost the money to consolidate, but in the long run, it could save money.


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